Illinois River

Geographic position

38.9702° N, 90.4541° W


Mason Land Case


General note

The Illinois River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, running from the southwestern to northern part of the present-day state of Illinois. It was named after the Illinois Confederacy, a coalition of American Indians who lived west of the Great Lakes, and who first made contact with Europeans when, in 1666, a group of eighty Illinois Indians came to a French trading post on Lake Superior. This was the start of a long-standing trading relationship. Contact with the French and British colonists significantly changed the Illinois Indians' way of life, and by the middle of the 19th century, the tribe had moved west to Indian Territory, in what is present day Oklahoma. In a 1765 letter, Wheelock expresses his concern about Occom’s reinvestment in the Mason Land Case and wonders what influence that might have on a school he plans to establish with General Phineas Lyman, who has “made his Pitch on the Illinois River” as a site for this school.